Months of planning, sleepless nights and long hours spent decorating all come down to that one moment.
The "ooo" and "awws" when the doors to the 2007 Moffat County High School prom open.
Prom is from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 28 in the high school gymnasium and commons area. The last-minute pressure of preparing is getting to junior class president Desirae Pearcey.
"I am way freaking out," she said Monday while constructing centerpieces. But, "I think we have enough junior class support, so I think it'll be fine."
Pearcey and other class officers, under the direction of math teacher and class adviser David Grabowski, have been meeting weekly since November.
This week and next are crunch time, when many juniors hustle to hang decorations and prepare the high school to look like a casino.
Juniors chose a "Casino Royale" theme because the year is 2007, and 007 is the main character James Bond's code number in the recently released movie.
"It's unique," Pearcey said. "You can only do it every 1,000 years."
Scene-building elements in----clude a black and gold star for the prom attendees to walk through and a nighttime skyline on the gym wall.
"We're basically trying to go elegant," Pearcey said.
The school's "techies," or light and sound technicians for theatrical productions, are providing lighting and disc jockey services for prom. Pearcey said she is excited to use them for the first time because she can include her peers in the dance.
"They are extremely professional," she said.
And while the juniors are perfecting the backdrop for prom, they also have to make sure they have their own plans set for the night.
Pearcey bought her "fabulous" strapless yellow prom dress in Grand Junction. Traveling to Junction or Denver to find the ideal dress is typical for local girls.
Junior Andi Teeter was expecting a long drive, but was surprised to find her black strapless dress at One Way Fashions in downtown Craig.
"I was a little shocked," Teeter said.
Three of her friends also found dresses there.
"We're really happy because they're all different," she said. "If you go to Junction or Denver, chances are you're going to have the same dress as the girl next to you."
For the guys, finding the right tuxedo might not be so much work. Junior Sean Smith said he enjoyed finding his pinstripe tux with a silver vest and tie to match his date's dress.
"I think it's going to be (fun)," Smith said. "It's not like you wear something like that every day of your life."
He and 18 friends rented a Lincoln Navigator limousine for the night to take them to Steamboat Springs for dinner and back for the dance.
"If you come up in a thumpin' limo, it's worth it," Smith said. "You only have junior prom once, so just go big."
But for other students, taking a budget-friendly approach is more their style.
Millie Blackstun said she's driving herself to prom, as many of her friends are doing.
"We spend so much money already and we can have fun without spending big bucks," Blackstun said.
Teeter's father might make dinner for her and her friends, and her aunts are styling her hair for the big night.
"The only thing we're getting professionally done is our nails, and I just might do those myself, too," Teeter said.
The after party
Once the action at prom winds down, students can head over to Thunder Rolls Bowling Center for the after-prom party that runs from midnight to 4 a.m.
Lani Cleverly, a parent who's in charge of the after-prom planning committee, said the late-night party is designed to deter teens from getting into trouble.
"So they can not participate in the bad and participate in the good," Cleverly said.
The event includes poker, Guitar Hero, shuffleboard, pool and bowling tournaments, as well as karaoke and plenty of breakfast foods.
Plus, "there's just a lot of great prizes that kids can win," Cleverly said.
Some of the big prizes include a laptop, flat screen TV, iPods and a BMX bicycle.
"All the businesses have been awesome to support (after prom)," Cleverly said. "It's amazing."
After the time teens and parents have put into the event to make it special, Teeter said she's anxious to see the turnout.
"I'm excited to see how many people are going to come," Teeter said. " A lot of people have worked really hard on this, and it'll be nice to see a lot of people come to it."
And that work has been well worth the effort, Blackstun said.
"It's a twice-in-a-lifetime experience," she said. "It's one of the funnest nights you'll remember in high school, so you want to make it fun for everyone."
Michelle Perry can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 213, or firstname.lastname@example.org.